Architect's rendering of the proposed Landmark at Riverhead development on East Main Street.

The developer of a four-story mixed-use apartment building proposed on the site of the former West Marine building on East Main Street is seeking financial assistance from the Riverhead Industrial Development Agency.

The IDA board voted to accept the financial assistance application for Landmark at Riverhead, proposed by builder Wayne Steck, during its May 8 meeting, after a presentation by the applicant. IDA Executive Director Tracy Stark-James declined to provide RiverheadLOCAL with a copy of the application, stating it would not be made available because it was currently a “draft.” A Freedom of Information Law request seeking a copy of application was filed by RiverheadLOCAL but has not yet been responded to.

The Riverhead IDA typically provides financial assistance in the form of state and county sales taxes, mortgage recording taxes and county, town and school district real property taxes. “Standard” IDA benefits provide property tax exemptions over a period of 10 years, with the amount exempted declining over that period. Applicants pay full special district taxes, which are not exempted. Applicants also make payments in lieu of taxes that partially offset the property tax exemptions throughout the 10-year period.

Steck presented his plans to the IDA board. He said the 43,989-square-foot, four story building will include 40 one-bedroom and five two bedroom market-rate “luxury” apartments — ranging from 500-square-feet to 1,200-square-feet — over 9,687-square-feet of commercial space meant for “unique retail and food experiences,” Steck said. 

MORE COVERAGE: Town board discusses downtown development proposals, parking impacts

“In order to draw Haskell’s and other unique vendors in the downtown area, we will need to offer a substantial build out discounts and long term rent incentives,” Steck said, referring to Haskell’s Seafood Bait and Tackle, who he said was interested in the space. “We firmly believe that this project will serve as a catalyst for the continued growth and development of the downtown area.”

The developer has estimated that the project is expected to cost approximately $10.76 million, according to the resolution accepting the application.

The resolution authorizes the executive director to engage Camoin Associates to prepare an absorption and impact study for the project. It also appoints Nixon Peabody LLP as transaction counsel. The costs of both will be borne by the developer. 

The building plan is still under review by the Riverhead Town Board. 

Steck is also a partner, along with Assembly Member Jodi Giglio, of another downtown mixed-use income-restricted apartment complex, Summerwind Square on Peconic Avenue. That development received benefits from the IDA, including property tax exemptions. The benefits will end this year, Stark-James said.

During the May 8 meeting, the IDA board also waived a 5% fee for late PILOT payments for two beneficiaries: Island Water Park and Hampton Jitney.

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